The Kings of Summer Reviews
Being a teenager isn't easy and sometimes you want to runaway and do your own thing. I totally get that, and these kids actually do that and build a house (In what seemed like a couple of days) and decide to live in it to get away from their parents. Patrick's parents are a little over bearing and embarrassing. Biaggio's we don't know, and Joe is a whiny, self-absorbed, selfish prick. Which he gets from his father. Growing up there wouldn't be the easiest, but having a dead mother doesn't mean you can be a prick to everyone and throw tantrums whenever something doesn't go your way. This character almost completely ruined the movie for me.
Acting - 7
Writing - 8
Dialogue - 9
Plot & Characterization - 7.5
Cinematography & Editing - 8.5
Soundtrack/Score & Set Design - 8.5
How much I enjoyed it personally - 6.5
When it comes down to it, this is a very simple film. It succeeds at inspiring and entertaining all at once--an objective that is usually just aspired to, compromised by one of the two elements. Although their time in the woods isn't terribly eventful, the character development and dialogue is fun to experience.
The pacing is a little irregular, but director Jordan Vogt-Roberts uses it as an advantage. Usually I'm not a huge fan of uneven tone, but in this situation it brings so much charm to the film. However, I do wish that there was a better sense of location. The whole time I wondered where this takes place--I must have blinked once.
The movie does a good job of keeping you on the edge of your seat while using it's uneven tone to its advantage--keeping you thinking that anything can happen next.
There's not a lot about The Kings of Summer that I don't like, except for the fact that it ended too soon.
Twizard Rating: 95
First of all, the performances are a definite mixed bag. The Adults (Nick Offerman, Megan Mullaly and Marc Evan Jackson) are hilarious in this film. Offerman pulls off, as well, some intense drama which is extremely surprising. The kids are not as good, and that is a problem considering they are the main focus of the film. Nick Robinson is a handsome boy, but his acting is not nearly as interesting as his body. Gabriel Basso is solid and more believable as Patrick, Joe's Best Friend. They both are sort of after the same girl, Kelly, played by Erin Moriarty, also very pretty but not very good. Last but not least, doofus Biaggio played by Moses Arias in a fearless, facetious role that is unforgettable (From the three kids, by far the most amusing).
The way the story goes is pretty simple. However, it is the way it is told that gets to you. Saying that director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is visually ambitious is underestimating the amount of beauty and gimmicky distinctive style the film has. It is edited in a way to make the fashion more preculiar, all along with a playful soundtrack that mixes 80's video-game-like music with hardcore rap.
In the end, The Kings of Summer is more visually stunning than emotionally resonant. It has moments, however, and those small moments make the film a solid coming-of-age tale.